Party Scene

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Party Scene


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4 College Junior

Party Scene: If you are social, you'll have no problem. People will find it tough to really get inside the parties if you are on the quieter side.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Party Scene: I am a commuter and do not go out at night so basically, i do not know much about these things.

3 College Senior

Party Scene: As, i said earlier, i do not go to these parties, so i do not know.

1 College Freshman

Party Scene: If there ever was a party, everyone had to study instead.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Freshman

Party Scene: Even if there ever was party, no one would go to it.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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There are few accessible bars and clubs near campus, with the most popular being Fish Head Cantina and Penguins. Thursday is college night at Fish Head, and going to "Fishbowl," as it's called, has become a tradition among many UMBC students. You only need to be 18 years old to enter, and it provides a chance for everyone to dress their best, meet other UMBC students, and dance. For students 21 or older, there is also very affordable alcohol. Penguins is the most well-known student bar in the area, and student bands often perform here. On-campus nightlife tends to be limited to house parties on or close to UMBC or the campus bar, Flat Tuesdays. However, strict RAs and police patrols limit most campus parties to small gatherings of friends, and Flat Tuesdays is only open limited hours (the latest it’s open is 12 a.m. on Fridays, and it’s closed Saturdays).

UMBC is also located near Baltimore City, Washington, D.C., and Ellicott City, which have lots of nightlife options for students with cars or for anyone who doesn’t mind taking a bus or cab there. In Baltimore, students can go bar-hopping in Fells Point, Federal Hill, or the Inner Harbor, or they can attend concerts at different venues like Sonar or Rams Head. Ellicott City provides a variety of bars and restaurants where students can get a drink and a tasty meal. D.C. offers a large variety of clubs—students can pick and choose what kind of music they would like to dance to or what concert they would like to attend. In general, there is something for everyone in terms of nightlife at UMBC, whether you enjoy clubbing in the big city, listening to a small local band, or just talking and mingling with people at a fun, low-key place.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • Baltimore City: Bourbon Street, Federal Hill, Fells Point, and Inner Harbor.
  • Ellicott City: Old Ellicott City area
  • Washington, D.C.: Adams Morgan
Other Places to Check Out
  • Cacao Lane
  • Center Court
  • An Die Musik
  • The Judges Bench
  • Little Morocco
  • No Way Jose Café
  • Phoenix Emporium
  • Power Plant Live!
  • The Reserve
  • Ryleighs Brew Pub
Local Specialties
National Bohemian: This beer, known as "Natty Boh," was originally brewed in Baltimore. It is a popular beer choice for students. For a time, the company was owned by National's President Jerold Hoffberger, who also owned the Baltimore Orioles. Natty Boh became Baltimore's official beer in the 1960s.
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer pong
  • Flip cup
Useful Resources for Nightlife
  • Campus newspaper
  • Friends
  • Informational pamphlets around campus
  • Online
Closing Time
2 a.m. in Baltimore and 3 a.m. in Washington, D.C.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
Penguins Fine Food & Spirits
and Diamondback Tavern after midnight.
Organization Parties
The Student Event Boards puts on a variety of different concerts and open mic nights for students. Popular events are the Persian Student Association's annual party for Persian New Year, Bhangra Night, and the Jewish Student Union's Chanukah party. All of these these cultural events attract various students.
Did You Know?
  • UMBC students are very musically talented and often play in the area's local music scene.
  • Fishbowl (college night) at Fish Head Cantina is often sponsored by UMBC clubs and organizations. A regular sponsor is the rugby team.
  • A popular event each year is Quadmania, a festival hosted by UMBC's Student Events Board. This week of events includes a carnival and concerts. Past artists have included Girl Talk, T-Pain, Third Eye Blind, and Wale.
  • Flat Tuesdays, the on-campus bar, hosts Trivia Night from 4 to 5 p.m. every Thursday.
  • Most clubs in D.C., Baltimore, and Ellicott City allow 18-year-olds to enter.

Club ListingsWhat's This?

Rams Head Live!

Rams Head Live is another concert venue that often brings in well-known bands, in addition to local bands. It is a medium-sized venue that holds more people than other places, like Ottobar or Sonar.

20 Market Pl.


(410) 244-1131


Ottobar has a concert venue in the downstairs area and a pool table and DJ on the second floor. Ottobar is generally open until 2 a.m. every day and brings in a great variety of local and independent bands from both the national and international scenes.

2549 Howard St.


(410) 662-0029

Ultra Bar

Ultra Bar and Lounge has five floors offering four music experiences. It is 18 to party and 21 to drink and is open Thursdays through Saturday from 9 p.m. until 3 a.m. There is an open bar Thursday and Friday from 9 to 10 p.m., and ladies get in free on Fridays.

911 F St. NW

Washington, D.C.

(202) 6384663


Sonar, open Wednesday through Sunday, brings in an array of local and national artists and DJs and a series of independent artists. Well-known national artists, such as Matisyahu, also play at Sonar. Sonar offers something for everyone, whether you're looking for a family-oriented concert or a night of nonstop dancing. Most shows are all-ages, unless specifically mentioned.

407 E. Saratoga St.


(410) 783-7888

Lima Restaurant & Lounge

The high standards of quality applied to the fine dining at Lima are also applied to the bar, lounge, and patio. The lounge features cozy furnishings, a 40-foot bar, a pumping sound system, and LCD projectors. It is open until 2 a.m. on weeknights and 3 a.m. on weekends. This is a place where you come dance, relax, or just have a nice chat.

1401 K St. NW

Washington, D.C.

(202) 789-2800

Fish Head Cantina

Fish Head Cantina offers dining, a club night, and concerts. Tuesday is open open mic night, where everyone gets in free, and Thursday is DJ dance night. On the weekend, Fish Head becomes a concert venue, hosting Baltimore's best bands. The price of beer on the weekends (starting at 9 p.m.) is an amazing $1.

4802 Benson Ave.


(410) 247-2474

9:30 Club

The 9:30 Club is a concert venue that brings in nationally acclaimed bands from different genres, from indie to pop. It is a small, cozy venue, and unlike at other concerts, you will not feel like one in a crowd of a million.

815 V St. NW

Washington, D.C.

(202) 265-0930

Latin Palace

Latin Palace is the place to come if you enjoy Latin American music or dancing (or want to learn). Salsa lessons are given Wednesday through Friday from 8 to 9:30 p.m. You don't need a reservation, and each lesson is $10. There is a 50 percent discount if you eat dinner in Restaurante Las Palmas, located in the upstairs area of the club.

509 S. Broadway


(410) 522-6700


Fur is a nightclub designed to impress. Its 30-foot high ceilings and luxurious lounge area will make anyone feel like a VIP. It is open on Friday and Saturday nights.

33 Patterson St. NE

Washington, D.C.

(202) 842-3401

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

La Palapa Grill and Cantina

La Palapa Grill and Cantina offers the best high-quality Mexican food, but it also has some great drink specials. Half-price pitchers of margaritas and sangria are offered on Monday, Ladies Night is Tuesday, and there are some great happy hours. There is also mariachi music on Fridays and Saturdays. This is a cozy place to get drinks and a nice meal.

8307 Main St.

Ellicott City

(410) 465-0070

Penguins Fine Food & Spirits

Penguins has great food and drinks at affordable prices, so it is a great place for college students. Many local bands play here, and there are also pool tables and video games.

1065 Maiden Choice Ln.


(410) 709-2119

Pure Wine Café

This café will satisfy any wine lover's taste buds. There is also a variety of food at affordable prices.

8210 Main St.

Ellicott City

(410) 480-5037

Flat Tuesdays

This on-campus bar for 21+ students is open Monday through Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., and Fridays from 4 p.m. to midnight. It is closed on Saturday and Sunday. Student organization can host a variety of events in the lower level of the bar.

The Commons, second floor

UMBC campus

Ale Mary's

Ale Mary's features fine ales, fine wines, and fine times in Fells Point. There is a nice variety of beers and a great menu (Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding!).

1939 Fleet St.


(410) 276-2044

The Diamondback Tavern

The Diamondback has high-quality food and drinks. There is trivia every Tuesday, different specials every night, and reasonably priced drinks, including Maryland beers. It is open until 2 a.m. daily.

3733 Old Columbia Pike

Ellicott City

(410) 313-8530

Ellicott Mills Brewing Company

Ellicott Mills' logo sums it up: "Great Food, Great Beer, Great Time." It brews its own beer with ingredients imported from various parts of the globe. This is a great place to get good beer, and if you're under 21, you can still come here for an amazing dinner.

8308 Main St.

Ellicott City

(410) 313-8141

What to Do if You're Not 21What's This?


Most concerts at Sonar are all-ages.

407 E. Saratoga St.


(410) 783-7888

Rams Head Live!

All shows at Rams Head are all-ages, unless specifically indicated.

20 Market Pl.


(410) 244-8854

Fish Head Cantina

Students only need to be 18 to enter. Thursday is college night, which is when UMBC students usually go. The DJ is reasonably good, and everyone comes to have a good time.

4802 Benson Ave.


(410) 247-2474

Student Polls

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 44 responses

  • 45% Quadmania
  • 20% Hahaha! umbc party, hahahahahahahahaha.
  • 14% All of the above
  • 5% Either a in a club in Baltimore or in a Frat house
  • 2% Xmas Bashment a.k.a "Caribbean Night"
  • 2% Whatever you club wants it to be
  • 2% Anything in baltimore of DC

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 111 responses

Very poor
  • Convenience to get to
  • Cover charges
  • Distance from campus
  • Drink prices
  • Fun
  • Variety/number of options

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 109 responses

  • 1% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.
  • 12% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 19% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 28% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 39% Parties? What parties?


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